End of Month View of the Garden: End of December 2016


End of Month View of the Garden: End of December 2016

 

December started with a cold snap, with intermittent mild days replaced with hard frosts.

The coldest it managed to achieve throughout the month in the garden was  – 4.5°C

I’ve not seen any signs of Snowdrops peeping through yet, but I’ve seen plenty of Whitefly still lingering on my Brassicas, this has resulted in me bining the lot. The Brassicas that is, hopefully the Whitefly went with them.

Correa 'Marian's Marvel'

Correa ‘Marian’s Marvel’

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Gloomy start.. Brighter later…


I’ve not done a full blog for a while, I’ve been busy decorating, working and been a little unmotivated to be honest.

It’s mostly the weather you see, last years relentless wet weather appears to be continuing into this year. The snow we had has caused the ground to stay sodden, and when it did melt… the rain started.

Whats been happening in the garden since I last blogged….. well its rained…… lots, I have a disappointingly small amount of Snowdrops emerged, both my doubles and singles are struggling this year, I can only assume it is the combination of the cold, wet ground which has slowed them right down.  Also my Helleborus are very disappointing, mostly leaves with a few sorry-looking flowers battered by the weather.

My first Alpine Gardening Club meeting of the year was cancelled due to heavy snowfall and bad icy roads.  My big Hosta June split wide open its clay pot, and I discovered other terracotta pots which were supposed to be frost proof, were in-fact not.!

We had a day of really high winds and at work lost a very large Betula pendula due to rotten roots in sodden ground, I came home to find a modestly sized Leylandii of mine had also gone over just brushing lightly my 6×6 greenhouse (Alpine House).  How ever I made short work of it with a big bow saw and took it to the recycling centre later in the week.

Its loss is my gain, as it’s a tree I wanted out anyway.

In contrast to all the negatives, I’ve found some positives to mention.

My Hamamelis shrubs, 3 to be exact, have never flowered as well as they have these past months.

Hamamellis

Hamamelis

Hamamelis 'Fire Glow'

Hamamelis ‘Fire Glow’

I’ve got some of the bulbs I planted in pots as a bit of a trial coming up nicely as well.

Snowdrop 'Ewesii,

Snowdrop ‘Ewesii,

I quite like Cyclamen, but I have never been able to keep them when planted in my garden soil, so I have gone for the potted approach, so far I’ve had ok results. But I did buy the Corms from a well-known cheap bulb supplier so it serves me right really.

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen coum

I don’t think I will bother with Snowdrops in pots again, but will persevere with the Cyclamen.

I’ve got several Bulb and seed catalogues now, and really need to get a move on and decide if I want to buy anything, which of course I do. However a combination of too much choice and not enough pocket-money means I’m faffing a bit.

I’m delighted that all the seeds I requested from The Alpine Garden Society and the Hardy Plant Society  members seed lists, I also have my allocation of seeds from the Carnivorous Plant Society so this means I have currently 80 packets of seeds to get sown in the next few months, and lots of new lovely plants, (Hopefully), to find room for.

Seeds to be sown.

Seeds to be sown.

 

Finally, the Aluminum Greenhouse staging I ordered for my growing Alpine collection from a company called Two Wests & Elliot has arrived.  I used over £90 in Gift Vouchers I earned from Amazon after I sold back several of my Text Books I bought for My Ecology Course I compleated a few years ago.

I have to find the time to put it together now, I’d rather build it inside my dining room, where its warm and well-lit, but I suspect I will have to erect it inside the greenhouse, as I don’t think I will be able to get it in through the greenhouse door.

However, It needs to warm up outside quite a bit before I begin that job.

Happy seed sowing, keep warm.